attachment issues: a stream-of-consciousness reflection

March 2, 2015

I am ensconced in pink hessian cubicle walls. it’s like someone built me a square womb out of craft supplies and thumbtacks and lopped the top off it and wheeled me in. I feel surrounded and yet insecure. any minute now, I might be attacked by a flood of loud and inconvenient breaktime talkers. Jesus.

there’s a fan humming softly behind me, and small sparks of noise from people downstairs, voices, footsteps. I feel sick. it might have been the pies I had for lunch. it might also have been the people I saw, sitting at the other lunch table, a cosmos of completion in and of themselves, getting along so very well together. so happy together.

I sat and ate my pies and chatted with a friend. and yet.


do people disapprove of me?

why do I not belong?

what is wrong with me, that I do not belong?


I just don’t.


they’re my age. they’re young and sociable and cool and they laugh a lot and make loud noises at lunches and are attractive and sure of their attractiveness and I am reminded, I am strongly reminded of high school. I am strongly reminded of high school and the cool Christian crowd I never could fit, too awkward and self-conscious and cynical. I sat with the atheists and academics instead. I hid in the library. I sat in an old shell of a train, at a camp for Christians, and cried because I didn’t belong anywhere, because these were Christians, supposedly my people, and I wasn’t like them and couldn’t be like them. I was sixteen.

I went to university and found Christians I could belong with, who were awkward and thoughtful and welcoming, who cared about me deeply, who blessed me and believed for me and held me while I tumbled, frenzied, apart. they were my home. and now I’m here, and am I repeating myself? have I done something wrong?


maybe it’s that I’m simply not around as much. maybe it’s simply a matter of convenience.


or am I that person? the one people find hard to handle, the one you talk about, and say ‘don’t get me wrong, she’s lovely, but‘. the difficult one. the one that needs special grace to deal with. I try so very hard to be inoffensive, but I think I offend people anyway (did I say something wrong, did I do something stupid? did I not do something I was supposed to do? I’m sorry. I’m sorry). I parse greetings for inflections. I examine interactions for minutiae. I worry, and worry, and worry. have I done something wrong? have I done something unforgiveable? have I done something to make you think less of me? do you think less of me? I try to be useful, to be helpful, to listen, to provide some kind of service so people want me around. I ask questions. I try to support people so I’m not a burden. I try to be indispensible, or at the very least pleasant, or at the very least inoffensive. nice. if I try hard enough, maybe you’ll like me. if I pay attention to all these societal niceties, be polite, be appreciative, be obliging and not ask too much of you, if I don’t ask too much of you and give you more of my time and my listening, maybe we can be friends. friendship takes work, after all.


I don’t understand the term ‘unconditional’.


let me rephrase that. I have problems believing in unconditional regard. unconditional love. affection without boundaries. I will, one day, do something that will make you give up on me. I don’t know what it is yet, so I’m keeping a weather eye out. or it simply might be that time will move us in different directions, and we won’t keep in touch. that’s what happens.


people don’t stay.


the people who do, somehow, who haven’t left yet, they’re rare, small miracles. I live in fear of their leaving. if I breathe too hard on this leaf, it’ll crumble. if I put too much weight on this thread, even though it’s held so far, it might snap. this far, and no more.

I’ll trust you this far, and no more, because if I entrust you with me truly, when you leave, I’ll snap in two.


one day I will cease to entertain, serve, comfort, encourage or please you. one day I will offend or distress you, and you will be done with me.


that thought makes me sick. this is why I feel sick.




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